Sen. John Thune: Stimulus vote difficult before Election Day

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., discusses the latest in negotiations over an economic stimulus bill, and whether any agreement between the White House and Democrats can get through the Senate.
6:47 | 10/22/20

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Transcript for Sen. John Thune: Stimulus vote difficult before Election Day
And for the latest on negotiations in Washington over another round of economic stimulus. I'm joined now by senator John sin the Republican majority whip responsible for counting the votes in the senate. Thanks for joining us senator. She's a UG huge. Well stick a plus his office said late today they continue to make progress with the White House and that it. They will continue to negotiate. Com and as you know well today the GOP efforts at smaller targeted bills failed. So what's most likely scenario for getting a deal they could get a vote in the senate what might that look like. Well that's easy question I think that right now as you pointed well you know we've had a now multiple bullets in the senate on a smaller version what we would call targeted. Just responsible version of coal are released Democrats in the house he had a much larger. Version of this which cannot pass the senate. And I guess what I would argue. Is that we need to be just because we can't do everything don't we shouldn't do something and we got a lot of things there's bipartisan agreement on the PPP program for small businesses. Money for schools colleges universities they can. You don't wanna say lay money or vaccines therapeutics. Unemployment insurance for people who are employed all season bipartisan. Priorities and there are all included in the bill that the Democrats blocks today and so the question you know this is their mass or that. We can't get the bullets or an old version you know what is idea. What ultimately couldn't pass. Share as you know yesterday senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said and I quote if a presidentially supported bill clears the house at some point we'll bring it to the floor. At some point being the operative phase will senate Republicans commit to a vote before the election if the White House and the house reach an agreement this week. I don't know that we can get a poll before the election even. Sheehan an eight they have 20021. Which means she's got to bring him back in town to generate a bill. There are procedural hurdles we have to do what the senate and the more likely scenario is perhaps they reach an agreement. That there would be some agreement or not after the election. But that he said immediately it happened here there's a will is away but there are a horror right now not only on the amount. But also on the actual policy. Sure I wonder are you frustrated that the president the leader of your party is pushing for a two trillion dollar deal that he knows the vast majority senate Republicans likely won't even support. Brian I think the president the president wants you to deal is he's pushing his team harder to get there. But at a moment yes we don't have anything that we. Heard about so far that we can Muster enough Republicans to get across this floor in the end we want to get a result we wanted our com get disillusioned the American people. On day in my view our question is a question win and obviously clog politics and political season makes it harder to get it done for the election. Well one way or another another we will get something done the question is it is plants matter of time. But do you find that frustrating there isn't a good deal of daylight between you and the White House. Well it's it's never easy for sure and I am accountable to the senate it's like I don't know where members aren't. As the price tag and the White House negotiating since used to go optical power cynics among Republicans always goes down. I don't think that the administration would want to put it will almost Florida senate that. Completely divided or at least you know. Mostly divided Republicans where you have a bill passes all Democrats and ample Republicans so on he obviously were always part apple policy in full price today. But some I think a lot of our members are very concerned that we do this in a way this target in Sicily responsible and it doesn't blow the debt. End and money to areas where we really don't need. You represented the great state of South Dakota which currently has one of the fastest rising rates of corona virus cases per capita in the country should and I want to put up that Washington Post headline from last week which. Talked about the Sturgis motorcycle rally and how it may have spread to run a virus across the upper midwest. Within weeks of the gathering that true nearly a half a million bikers. So along the Dakotas along with Wyoming Minnesota Montana. They're leading the nation in new crime virus infections per capita. Very few attendees as you know that motorcycle rally in August wore a mask or socially distanced. What's irresponsible for your state to allow that mass gathering to go forward at an do you believe it's contributed to the rise of cases in the upper midwest. Yeah I would soon submit to whatever the experts are fighting in terms of contact tracing as to whether or not. You can be an apple stocks I'm not sure. I've seen a lot of evidence about them but one thing I can tell you think it's important for south Collins people everywhere to observe social guidelines to Wear masks and Wear appropriate. NRC was fortunate early on not a lot of cases and we probably got too comfortable Russell and I think it. A lot of soul South Dakota are now realizing these measures do matter. And I hope that we will see more of those are steps put into place or stopped spread of this because. That's not a statistic that you want to be known for I think the midwest has Kansas Nebraska north sound recorder right now all those seats are seeing. Chases rise in we need to get out of that best way to get edited do you follow implement the guidelines that we northstar it when it comes up and strip. Is the press wrong to repeatedly say we're turning the corner on the virus. Right now 31 states are showing a high or increasing level of coming cases including your own home state. With hundreds of Americans still dying each day. Right and I and I think that the the rhetoric around the virus needs to be consistent they whisked. The threat that still exists out there in the end and perhaps we could see an object as we head into the where the state like South Dakota or people or more. Blind side and so if you're saying that backs is not the case would you tell the president to tone down his misstatement or mischaracterization. Of of where we are with a pandemic. Think the important to first thing's first are leaders is fine reality. And and I think that the president needs to define realities of the American people the reality as usual got a disease is spreading. And is is still putting people hostile. And still still adding to tragically. Surely long list of people who died from I think that's important for him to point out. All right well thank you so much for your candor and your insights and your time senator John Thune a South Dakota thanks.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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